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surgie

River cruise lines in France?

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Which cruise lines travel in France? I was hoping for Crystal but didn't see any itineraries for France in 2021. Viking does but wondering what other cruise lines offer France? We are going from Amsterdam to Basel this summer on Tauck so we'd like to try a different country and possibly different cruise line next year.

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Of the "major" companies operating in Europe, I think Crystal is the ONLY one without France itineraries, and that's due to its current few number of ships. Uniworld, AMA, Avalon, Croisi, Scenic - pretty sure they all offer French options. And I'm sure I've missed a few. Assume by "French" you don't mean the Rhine (though it does include France 😉 because that's what you're doing this year?

 

 

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Hi, yep, all the major lines do a "Seine" cruise...….except Crystal. I looked at them multiple times but seems have

decided not to put it on their itineraries.

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I think Croisi has the most ships in France.  

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Hoyaheel has mentioned a good selection already. I add Arosa and Nicko Cruises (German lines) and Riviera Travel (UK). They all sail the Seine and/or the Rhone. A few lines sail the Garonne.

As far as I know, CroisiEurope is still the only one sailing the Loire.

 

notamermaid

 

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I believe that there are also Bordeaux cruises, but they are generally more wine focused and don't sail much.

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Somebody's brochure came in the mail the other day, and they were advertising that this was their last year on the Seine.  May have been Vantage??  Not sure--help me out here?   Pitched the brochure in the recycling, unfortunately.

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Vantage and Grand Circle both do France (Rhône and Seine) and are among the few that dock in Honfleur. Grand Circle overnights, two nights there. Vantage?

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France is a fantastic destination for River Cruising:  The country is crisscrossed by major rivers, charming villages, wine regions, and great gastronomy.  Options include:
Paris, the Seine River and the Norman Coast

Burgundy and Provence on the Rhone River

The Loire Valley:  Home of French Royals

The Garonne and Dordogne Rivers and the Gironde Estuary in Bordeaux and the Aquitaine

 

And some other options:
Strasbourg, in France's Alsace, lies just south of the Romantic Rhine Valley.  It is a European Capital and a gateway to the Rhine, Main, Neckar, and Moselle Rivers.

French Canals - Canal Barging is a more intimate cousin of River Cruising, and available all over France.

St. Pierre and Miquelon:  This tiny archipelago off of Newfoundland is French territory in North America:  Cruise between it and Montreal on the St. Lawrence River.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

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On 2/19/2020 at 10:43 AM, sharkster77 said:

Somebody's brochure came in the mail the other day, and they were advertising that this was their last year on the Seine.  May have been Vantage??  Not sure--help me out here?   Pitched the brochure in the recycling, unfortunately.

Yes, it was  Vantage; i received the same brochure.  

 

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:14 AM, surgie said:

Which cruise lines travel in France? I was hoping for Crystal but didn't see any itineraries for France in 2021. Viking does but wondering what other cruise lines offer France? We are going from Amsterdam to Basel this summer on Tauck so we'd like to try a different country and possibly different cruise line next year.

Be careful if you are considering Viking.  Nothing against the Viking experience, but their longboats are not allowed to dock in Paris because of the size of the boat, so they dock in a town outside the city.  They do provide buses to take people back and forth from Paris, but the trip can take an hour each way.  Much nicer to actually be docked in Paris;  less time spent sitting in traffic and we could see the Eiffel tower from the deck of our ship during our Avalon cruise!  Also the Viking longboats only went as far as Rouen this year; most other lines go at least as far as Caudebec.  I believe Viking will introduce 2 new ships in 2021 that will be small enough to dock in Paris, so if you're set on Viking, make sure to choose one of the smaller ships.  

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19 minutes ago, KathyK13 said:

Yes, it was  Vantage; i received the same brochure.  

 

Thanks @KathyK13, sometimes you wonder if you actually read/heard something, or did you imagine it!!!!!

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Thanks to all for advice. Yes, I wanted a different river than the Rhine since we are doing that this year. Some of the lines mentioned I had not heard of so that will help my search. And I definitely want to be able to dock in Paris and have no allegiance to Viking or any other line so I'm open to exploring options.

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On 2/19/2020 at 8:41 AM, Hoyaheel said:

Of the "major" companies operating in Europe, I think Crystal is the ONLY one without France itineraries, and that's due to its current few number of ships. Uniworld, AMA, Avalon, Croisi, Scenic - pretty sure they all offer French options. And I'm sure I've missed a few. Assume by "French" you don't mean the Rhine (though it does include France 😉 because that's what you're doing this year?

 

 

We did a wonderful Rhone/Saone cruise in SE France in 2012 with AMA.  That is a great cruise with lots to see.

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DH and I are sailing a nice itinerary in July on Scenic from Lyon on the Rhone River, in the Provence area. 

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Be careful if you are considering Viking.  Nothing against the Viking experience, but their longboats are not allowed to dock in Paris because of the size of the boat, so they dock in a town outside the city.  They do provide buses to take people back and forth from Paris, but the trip can take an hour each way.  Much nicer to actually be docked in Paris;  less time spent sitting in traffic and we could see the Eiffel tower from the deck of our ship during our Avalon cruise!  Also the Viking longboats only went as far as Rouen this year; most other lines go at least as far as Caudebec.  I believe Viking will introduce 2 new ships in 2021 that will be small enough to dock in Paris, so if you're set on Viking, make sure to choose one of the smaller ships.  

Fortunately Viking has added new ships to their fleet that can dock in Paris. We booked on the new Viking Radgrid which sets sail this year.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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10 hours ago, cleob said:


Fortunately Viking has added new ships to their fleet that can dock in Paris. We booked on the new Viking Radgrid which sets sail this year.


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It will be a kind of happy ending for the unfortunate story of the ships not being allowed into Paris. The Viking longships, it started on the Seine in 2015 with the Viking Rinda I believe, are 135m long and after initial indications that it could work out, the local authorities kept the size limit at 125m. Hence the fact that Uniworld reacted with building a 125m ship and Viking followed suit. I have been wondering if the restriction was the determining factor for Crystal to redeploy their initial ships for the Seine, the Crystal Ravel and the Crystal Debussy, to the Danube and Rhine. They are both 135m long.

 

notamermaid

 

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We were on the Crystal Debussy in October....Thought it was beyond FABULOUS......sadly they will not be putting any France on for a few years.....

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8 hours ago, notamermaid said:

It will be a kind of happy ending for the unfortunate story of the ships not being allowed into Paris. The Viking longships, it started on the Seine in 2015 with the Viking Rinda I believe, are 135m long and after initial indications that it could work out, the local authorities kept the size limit at 125m. Hence the fact that Uniworld reacted with building a 125m ship and Viking followed suit. I have been wondering if the restriction was the determining factor for Crystal to redeploy their initial ships for the Seine, the Crystal Ravel and the Crystal Debussy, to the Danube and Rhine. They are both 135m long.

 

notamermaid

 

In Crystal's original plans those two ships were shorter, to accommodate French rivers.  When they changed their itinerary plans they built all four ships to the same [longer] spec.

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42 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

In Crystal's original plans those two ships were shorter, to accommodate French rivers.  When they changed their itinerary plans they built all four ships to the same [longer] spec.

Thank you for the explanation. Sort of the opposite scenario of what I had been wondering.

 

A pity for river cruisers who like their ocean product and would like to try it on the river Seine.

 

notamermaid

 

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Maybe I dreamt it 😊 but I thought I saw news a little while ago that Crystal was going to be offering France — perhaps in two years???? Anyone have any info or did I make that up? 

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We did Vikings Frances Finest last summer, Avignon to northern France. It is a lovely cruise, in Lyon you transfer to Paris boat( FYI 2021 Viking will dock some ships in Paris, we were out in La Perq but it didn't matter to us as we had done a Rick Steve Paris and saw all the big sites) the transfer was seemless, they took our bags and they were in the same room different ship when we got to Le Perq, first class train tickets, on the bus to train Viking got us all to our seats, in Paris train station Viking waiting for us and took us by bus to our boat.  It was 14 days and every day was enjoyable.  I booked some tours that I would not have given a look at but for recommendations on this site ( Chateau de Fletcher's, Luminaries).

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